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  • Kurt Fedewa

Don Jose Mexican Grill: A Taste of Mexico

Don Jose Mexican Grill is open for dining in Portland.

Jose Vergara is the owner of the establishment. He hails from the state of Michoacan in Mexico. He is proud of his Mexican heritage and is also proud to live in Michigan. Owning a business has always been a dream of his and when the opportunity came for him to open a restaurant he took good advantage of this.

“We remodeled our location to fit with a Mexican theme,” said Jose. “We even built our booths by hand. M<y brother is very handy and he helped me with this.”

In addition to remodeling, Jose’s brother also helps out as a cook and Jose employs several good friends as servers. The restaurant truly is a family affair.

“I feel grateful to these people for the help they are offering to me,” said Jose.

Jose said that Mexican food differs from American food in that the preparation of Mexican cuisine involves the use of spices that are not typically used in American cooking.

“American food is delicious,” said Jose. “But people like Mexican food as a change of pace, for something different,” he said.

Jose said that Mexican dining has become more popular in the United States just in the last twenty years.

“People like authentic Mexican food,” he said. “They enjoy such dishes as steak with onions, tomatoes, and peppers. A favorite of mine is what I call the Portland burrito in honor of Portland. It is a twelve inch tortilla with steak, chicken, chorizo, and pork. We add refried beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, and sour cream. We then fold it and cover it with cheese sauce. It is something special and people really enjoy it.”

Jose said that his restaurant produces all of its food from scratch, including the chips and salsa.

“Cooking from scratch really does make a difference,: he said. “It adds an important element of flavor to the food that is not present without the close attention to detail that we give to our cooking.”

Jose thinks highly of Portland.

“Portland is a great place to do business,” he said. “I have long admired the people here. Whenever I visited Portland I was favorably impressed by the friendliness of its people. It moved me to open a business here. I look forward to being in Portland for many years to come. It’s a great place with great people.”

Don Jose Mexican Grill

117 E. Grand River Avenue

Portland, MI 48875

Telephone: 517-994-6044


Sunday – Thursday: 11 am – 9 pm

Friday and Saturday: 11 am – 10 pm

Food is available for take-out as well as for dine in

Courtesy photo.


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